England topped the group and didn't lose a game, but there are still concerns in the squad.


England World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide

England vs Panama (24th June) 

Match preview here

England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard (17 Fabian Delph 63), 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane (11 Jamie Vardy 63), 10 Raheem Sterling, 12 Kieran Trippier (3 Danny Rose 70), 18 Ashley Young, 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Panama Starting XI: 1 Jaime Penedo, 2 Michael Murillo, 4 Fidel Escobar, 5 Ramon Torres, 6 Gabriel Gomez (23 Felipe Baloy 69), 7 Blas Perez, 8 Edgar Barcenas (16 Abdiel Arroyo 69), 11 Armando Cooper, 15 Erick Davis, 20 Anibal Godoy (19 Ricardo Avila 62), 21 Jose Rodriguez

Nizny Novgorod

England 6 Panama 1

England: Stones 9, 40 Kane 22pen 45+1pen, 62, Lingard 36
Panama: Baloy 73

Match overview

England enjoyed their biggest ever World Cup win after thrashing Panama 6-1 to qualify for the knockout stage and send the Central Americans out of the competition.

The emphatic victory was achieved in spite of Panama’s strong-arm tactics, with four of England’s goals coming from set-pieces. Jesse Lingard scored the pick of the goals, a curled shot form outside the area, while Harry Kane claimed a hat-trick.

Veteran Felipe Baloy’s consolation goal was wildly celebrated by Panama’s fans.

Kane scored a hat-trick against Panama (Getty Images)

Matter of fact

Harry Kane became the third Englishman, after Geoff Hurst (1966) and Gary Lineker (1986), to score a World Cup hat-trick.

Talking point

Panama came under fire for their strong-arm tactics, which included raising elbows to the opposition and multiple grappling at corners.



Possession (%): 58/42

Goal attempts: 12/8

Attempts on target: 3/5

Corners: 3/2

Fouls: 14/13

Pass accuracy (%): 93/89

Distance covered (km): 99/89

England vs Tunisia (18th June) Match Report

The three lions face Tunisia in their first game amidst huge pressure after a good tournament build up. Match preview here.

England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard (4 Eric Dier 90+3), 8 Jordan Henderson, 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (19 Marcus Rashford 68), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young, 20 Dele Alli (21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek 80)

Tunisia Starting XI: 22 Mouez Hassen (1 Farouk Ben Mustapha 16),2 Syam Ben Youssef, 4 Yassine Meriah, 8 Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, 9 Anice Badri, 10 Wahbi Khazri (19 Saber Khalifa 85), 11 Dylan Bronn, 12 Ali Maaloul, 13 Ferjani Sassi, 17 Ellyes Skhiri, 23 Naim Sliti (Mohamed Ben Amor 74)


Tunisia 1 England 2


Tunisia:  Sassi 35pen

England: Kane 11, 90+1

Match overview

An injury-time header from Harry Kane gave England an opening-game victory that had looked to be slipping away from them after Tunisia had dug deep to defend a point.

England made a confident, energetic start, taking an early lead through Kane with another header from a corner. But poor finishing and uncertain defending allowed Tunisia back into the contest via a debatable penalty.

There was less intensity in the second half, which suited Tunisia in their search for a point. But England were patient enough to keep plugging away and late substitutions helped to engineer the corner from which Kane snatched the winner.

Talking point

Tunisia’s penalty award following Kyle Walker’s foul was cleared by VAR, but holding fouls on Harry Kane, when the centre-forward was dragged to the ground at two subsequent corners, were ignored by the officials. But Kane was left alone in second-half stoppage time to head the winning goal.



Possession (%): 40/60

Goal attempts: 6/17

Attempts on target: 3/7

Corners: 2/7

Fouls: 14/8

Pass accuracy (%): 80/90

Distance covered (km): 103/105

England World Cup Guide

England qualified comfortably for the 2018 World Cup without setting the world alight. They were unbeaten in 10 games but scored only 18 goals and often struggled to break down defensive-minded teams. Gareth Southgate stepped up from an under-21 role following Sam Allardyce’s surprise exit. There were disappointing crowds at Wembley – but England still had the highest average attendance of any European qualifier.

Key Moments in Qualifying 

Sep 2016
Sam Allardyce quits as manager after 67 days and one game in charge – the 1-0 victory over Slovakia – following a newspaper “sting”.
Jun 2017
An injury-time equaliser from Harry Kane earns a 2-2 draw with Scotland at Hampden Park.
Sep 2017
After struggling to break down a Malta side that put 10 men behind the ball, England score three times in the last five minutes. Three days later, they recover from conceding an early goal to beat Slovakia 2-1.
Oct 2017
A 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley confirms qualification in front of a disappointing crowd at Wembley.

England World Cup Group

England are the final team in Group G. The other three sides are Eden Hazard and Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

England World Cup Friendlies

England’s first 2018 warm-up match was against the Netherlands on the 23rd of March, and then Italy followed four days later. Two more friendlies followed on the 2nd and 7th of June against Nigeria, and Costa Rica. They won three and drew one.

  • 23rd March – Netherlands (won 1-0)
  • 27th March – Italy (drew 1-1)
  • 2nd June – Nigeria (won 2-1)
  • 7th June – Costa Rica (won 2-0)

England World Cup Fixtures

England open their campaign against Tunisia on the 18th of June. Panama follow six days later, and then the potentially massive clash against Belgium is on the 28th.

Related: Englands Route To The Final

The Coach 

Gareth Southgate, age 47 (03.09.70)
Caretaker from September 2016, he was handed a four-year deal that November. Previously the under-21s’ manager, he played in the 1998 World Cup finals, where England lost in the round of 16, and missed a crucial penalty in England’s Euro 96 semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany.

Pressure: Southgate has got England going in the right direction, but he will be under pressure in Russia (Getty Images)

The Players 
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane rescued the side on a number of occasions with crucial goals and was appointed captain in October 2017.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli makes clever runs from midfield. Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson was Southgate’s preferred choice to anchor the midfield, with Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier. Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is a vibrant attacking right-back. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford was deployed as a wide attacker or from the bench.
All-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international football in August 2017. Liverpool pair Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge missed much of the qualifying campaign through injury.
Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks made his debut in the final qualifier against Lithuania. Centre-backs Harry Maguire and Michael Keane, and right-back Kieran Trippier also featured during qualifying.

England World Cup Squad

Final World Cup Squad – 

GOALKEEPERS: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

DEFENDERS: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

MIDFIELDERS: Dele Alli, Eric Dier (both Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

FORWARDS: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

England World Cup Injuries

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out with a knee injury picked up against Roma during the Champions League.

Striker: Kane will lead the line in Russia, and has to take his chances when they come (Getty Images)

The Unanswered Questions

Who will score the goals if Harry Kane is injured?
Kane was top scorer in the qualifiers, while Jamie Vardy has struggled to repeat his Leicester form of two years ago, and all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney is no longer available.

Out: Joe Hart’s omission from the squad has caused some controversy (Getty Images)


Will Southgate opt for a back three?
The manager has encouraged all England teams, from under-17s upwards, to play 4-2-3-1 but has recently experimented with a 3-4-3.

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